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Cavs starters, minus LeBron, pounded by short-handed Raptors 119-94

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 13, 2016

CLEVELAND: After extending the Cavaliers to six games in last season’s Eastern Conference finals, the Toronto Raptors have to again be considered the Cavs’ stiffest competition in the East until proven otherwise. Now it’s a question of how much the Raptors – and by extension the rest of the East – have closed the gap on the defending champions.

The short-handed Raptors easily handled the Cavs on Thursday, 119-94. The fact they did it without DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross and newcomer Jared Sullinger is – at most – only mildly troubling since this is still the preseason. The Cavs were playing without LeBron James, but otherwise started their regular lineup.

That the Raptors remain near the top of the East is a credit to re-signing DeRozan, although they failed to add a significant piece outside of Sullinger, whom they hope will be motivated to resurrect his career. Raptors coach Dwane Casey is hardly ready to make any bold predictions on whether or not the Raptors can topple the Cavs this time.

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Kyrie Irving planning final chapter of popular 'Uncle Drew' series

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 13, 2016

INDEPENDENCE: Kyrie Irving has big plans for the final chapter of his popular Uncle Drew video series, but fans are going to have to wait awhile. Irving said Thursday his busy summer, which included an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal, prevented him from filming. He’s not expecting to release anything next summer, either.

“There is something big that we’re planning, which I’m really excited about,” Irving said. “There will be a last chapter that will happen, but I don’t think it will be on YouTube.”

Irving indicated the platform will be bigger than YouTube, where the Uncle Drew character was born and quickly became a viral sensation. It’s worth noting that Irving’s teammate, LeBron James, owns a production company now and has ties to Warner Brothers, although Irving gave no indication of anything on that large of a scale.

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LeBron James has plans to go to college once his schedule allows

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 14, 2016

INDEPENDENCE: Now that LeBron James has set the foundation for at-risk Akron kids to receive college degrees, James is ready to start down the path himself – once his schedule allows it.

“I’m signed up at the University of Akron for whenever I’m able to get a little bit of down time. That’s always been a conversation that took place to take some college courses, take some classes,” he said. “So right now I just do a lot of reading, book reading, and obviously I’m around some really good people that I kind of take their knowledge and sort it into my mind.”

James’ foundation previously secured full scholarships to Akron for all kids who complete his “I PROMISE” program and fulfill some other requirements. Now the foundation is establishing the “I PROMISE Institute” to give them the tutors and support necessary to ensure they graduate college. James’ inaugural class of third graders are now in eighth grade. The institute will be in place by the time the kids begin college.

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This Kyrie Irving hype video will get you ready for the NBA season

By Dan Kadar Published: October 13, 2016

You come at the king, you best not miss.

That may have been the mantra of Omar Little on The Wire, but it applies to the Cleveland Cavaliers this year just as well. At least that was the message conveyed in a new hype video released by the NBA today featuring Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving.

MORE: Cavaliers’ LeBron James, NBA confident that labor agreement in near future

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LeBron James stars in new, weird Sprite commercial

By Dan Kadar Published: October 12, 2016

With the NBA season about to start, the biggest stars in basketball are beginning to show up in more and more commercials. Of course, that means more featuring Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James.

He's back in another commercial for Sprite, and it's weird. While most commercials implicitly tell you why you need the product their showcasing, that's not the case here.

"I'd never tell you to drink Sprite, even if I was in a commercial for Sprite, which I am," James says. "I'd ask you."

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Mo Williams, still with Cavs, has surgery on left knee

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 12, 2016

INDEPENDENCE: The relationship between Mo Williams and the Cavaliers took another curious turn Wednesday when Williams posted a picture to his Instagram account of himself in a hospital bed. Williams underwent surgery Wednesday on his problematic left knee and seemed to take a dig at the Cavs in the process.

“You know the crazy thing is, I haven’t been 100% in quite a while,” Williams wrote on his Instagram account. “Nobody and I repeat nobody actually gave a damn about my health but me. Taking control of my own career/life.”

Williams informed the Cavs the day before training camp opened he was retiring. He was diagnosed with chondromalacia last season, which pertains to cartilage damage in the knee. He was given an injection, but surgery was not recommended by team doctors. Williams sought a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews, who also advised against surgery, one league source said. Williams instead went to noted shoulder and knee surgeon Dr. David Altchek, who performed Kevin Love’s shoulder surgery last year. Altchek operated on Williams on Wednesday.

“Wish me luck today with my surgery,” Williams wrote on his Twitter account. “Just found out it’s a little worst (sic), which means a longer recovery.”

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Dahntay Jones blasts Donald Trump's 'locker room talk' excuse as ignorant

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 10, 2016

ATLANTA: Cavs veteran Dahntay Jones said it was “ignorant” for Donald Trump to justify sexist comments he made a decade ago as “locker room talk.” Jones tweeted Sunday his disapproval and reiterated it Monday prior to the Cavs’ preseason game against the Atlanta Hawks.

“I thought it was an unfair characterization of what goes on in our locker rooms,” Jones said. “I thought it was basically ignorant and I just didn’t agree with it.”

Trump has apologized for a conversation he had in 2005 when he bragged about kissing and groping women, but repeated throughout Sunday night’s debate that it was locker room talk. Jones, a 13-year NBA veteran who has played for eight different organizations, said that simply isn’t the case.

“We talk about all types of different issues. We talk about politics, we talk about basketball, we talk about women,” Jones said. “But we never make the conversation about making sexual advances at women, taking advantage of women. Those are just things that doesn’t go on in our locker rooms.”

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LeBron James won't play again until preseason finale at Ohio State

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 10, 2016

ATLANTA: LeBron James feels great physically. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue would like to keep it that way. As a result, James won’t play again until the Cavs’ preseason finale next Tuesday at Ohio State.

Lue is planning to use the preseason finale against the Washington Wizards as his dress rehearsal for the regular season. They’ll still have nearly a full week between the preseason and the start of the regular season. James won’t play tonight against the Atlanta Hawks or in the back-to-back Thursday at home against the Toronto Raptors and Friday at the Chicago Bulls.

“Since Coach Lue took over, it’s what Coach wants,” James said. “I would love to play in that game (at Ohio State) but at the same time, we’ll go with what Coach wants to do, and he said he wanted me to play game one (in the preseason) and then see how I feel after that game. I was able to play against Philly as well.”

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Jordan McRae scores 20 in Cavs preseason win against Sixers, but his point guard experiment is over

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 8, 2016

CLEVELAND: Jordan McRae’s experiment as a point guard is over before it ever really started. Coach Tyronn Lue acknowledged prior to the Cavs’ 108-105 win against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday that McRae will no longer be used as a point guard, a decision that was made after just one preseason game.

“We’re going to slow it down a little bit,” Lue said. “It’s not fair to him. It’s something he hasn’t done his whole career.”

McRae’s removal from the competition seems to imply rookie Kay Felder has emerged as the primary backup to Kyrie Irving, who made his preseason debut Saturday with 15 points and three assists in 19 minutes. Felder, meanwhile, was the first guard off the bench and finished with four points and three assists.

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LeBron James happy to help lift Indians with teammates ... and J.R. Smith

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 8, 2016

INDEPENDENCE: If a career in Hollywood or NBA ownership doesn’t work out, LeBron James might have a future as a hype man. James addressed the Progressive Field crowd Friday prior to the Indians’ 6-0 win over the Boston Red Sox.

“It’s just great that we’re able to support each other,” James said. “Our city has been through so much as far as professional sports the last 50 years, we don't have to go over that, we already know what it is. So to be able to support each other when guys are trying to make a push or something, something that's achievable, or something that you've been dreaming about, it means a lot to all of us.”

A number of Cavs players and coaches attended the game, including one former Cav who hopes to play for them again any day now. J.R. Smith was part of the fun despite his contract dispute. In fact, Smith has spent plenty of time with Cavs players the last few weeks – everywhere except on the court.

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